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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, October 13, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER:It has been reported that the fourth round of the review of government programs will take place around the end of this month. Could you please tell us the current status of consideration and the themes to be discussed?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Consideration is indeed underway right now, and I just confirmed with Minister Renho the status of consideration yesterday. Although we are still considering whether or not we should call the upcoming one the "fourth round" of the review of government programs and other procedural aspects, in fact Prime Minister Noda has announced his intention to continue and reinforce efforts for government revitalization, and has clarified in his policy speech that he will enhance the methods of reviewing government programs (shiwake). Based on these policies we are still considering the way the review should be. I think I can make a formal announcement before long.


REPORTER:A high level of radiation dose has been detected in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo. What is your initial reaction to this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:In case a high level of radiation was detected in a certain spot like this time, I expect the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to take appropriate actions in consultation with respective municipalities and other stakeholders and in concert with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and other specialized institutions. As the Government has been enhancing and strengthening monitoring nationwide, I intend to continue carrying out detailed monitoring and implement tailored responses. That is my reaction.


REPORTER:The US Congress has approved the bill to ratify the US-Republic of Korea (ROK) free trade agreement (FTA). This is supposed to have a significant impact on Japanese manufacturers competing with Korean companies in North America and other overseas markets. How does the Government of Japan view its impact on the Japanese companies? Also, what is the Government's view on the impact the said FTA will have on the issue of Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I am aware of the fact that the bill to enact the US-ROK FTA was approved by both Houses of the US Congress on October 12, local time. On the other hand, I hear that the ROK side is yet to gain domestic approval on the ratification. We perceive this news as a part of the recently accelerating movement for international economic partnerships. As far as Japan is concerned, as the Basic Policy on Comprehensive Economic Partnerships approved in November last year states, Japan will continue promoting high-level economic partnerships. With regard to the participation in the TPP negotiation, as I have said repeatedly, we will reach a conclusion as promptly as possible based on thorough discussion. There is no change to this stance.


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